Monday, October 13, 2008

Help Me Please!

This has been driving me crazy and I can't stand to keep quiet about it anymore. Maybe I'm just missing something here, but why do "Christians" on the web use the phrase "OMG?"

If I understand this correctly OMG stands for "Oh My God!" - is this correct? If this is correct why do believers use this text? I know that taking the name of the Lord in vain goes way beyond just using his name as a profanity or vanity, but it does include those things as well doesn't it?

Have I lost it? Am I just way out of touch or something?

Tonight I was reading the comments for a Jeremy Camp song, and the first commenter used this text to lead off their praise of his album.

I just don't get it. You don't think enough of God to carefully use His name, but you love "Christian" music?

I've seen this from different youth pastors and youth workers as they share their excitement about something they are posting. Again, I don't mean to bring down wrath on anyone - I need all the grace I can get - but somehow this just doesn't click with me. If I'm missing something or if it stands for something else, please let me know. But if not, please help me teach believers to respect God's name - even if it means avoiding this TLA (Three Letter Acronym) on the web.

Thank you.

6 comments:

ekirkthomsen said...

Travis, I'm glad I'm not the only one worried about inappropriate language, content, and pictures on the networking sites of fellow believers.

While I am all for authenticity, the online conduct of many Christians is a sad commentary on the current state of the church's standards and convictions.

I am writing an article called, "The Care and Feeding of Facebook," that confronts this issue and others. It will be published in an upcoming issue of ONE Magazine. I would welcome your input on the subject.

DavidJones said...

I don't think you're off by any standard. I confronted someone about this not too long ago and her response was, "I mean it to say 'oh my gosh.'" Now that could bring into question an entirely different debate, but that sounded more like an excuse than sound justification.

Teenagers, including Christian teenagers, do not revere the name of God. Many think you can use "OMG" or other profane combinations of 3 letters and it "really isn't the same thing, because you're not actually saying it."

Sadly, they don't realize that the sin was first committed in the mind and heart before it ever reached their keyboard.

Travis Penn said...

I really don't want to be the judge and jury here, I need grace in my own life in different areas than this. I'm all about Romans 14. But for some reason this one really seems to get to me.

Eric, I think your ideas would be greatly welcomed. I think we all forget sometimes that our Facebook and Myspace posts and blog posts are world-wide. We need to remember that we are making an impact on non-believers online too.

One idea that might help is to have someone do some sort of curriculum for study groups, Sunday School, or even Youth Camps. Some teens just haven't thought about this stuff yet, and if someone will get to them early it may save them some embarrassment down the line.

Jacob said...

People say OMG for the same reason they flick their friends off as a joke. Nothing is sacred. It's all lighthearted.

Travis Penn said...

Jacob,

I'm glad you chimed in. I know you have a good handle on youth culture.

I'm sure I'd get upset when people flick off their friends too! So is this some sort of generational thing? Or should some things be sacred?

Yo, do I just need to chill?

;)

Jacob said...

In my opinion, OMG is worse than flicking someone off. One is profanity, and one is vulgarity. Vulgarity is a cultural thing. Profanity is directly spiritual in any culture.

So in regards to the two phrases we've brought up, OMG is sacred, and is therefore a bigger issue in my mind. Flicking someone off is disrespectful and crude, no doubt, but in some cases it has been diluted from the literal sexual act. That's not what people mean when they say it. They use it for shock value to show the extremity of their mood. Which loses effect when used too often. I think that is what that word will eventually come to. Think about some words that were horrible even a few years ago like suck or freaking. Now it's in common usage in some people's vocabulary.

Anything referencing sacred elements should be treated differently IMO.